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#881225 - 04/15/13 10:40 PM Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon on Windows 7
traveler Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 3209
Loc: Rivellon
What do you know, not a request for help!

I just installed this game, even though it's my least favorite of the Dracula games (had to put that in there - really the worst depiction of Dracula), and found that the cut scenes flickered. Annoying. At any rate, I found a solution here.

If you don't want to follow the link, the fix is simple. You just locate the Microids file, double click on the Config file in Dracula 3 to bring it up in Notepad, then change the line that mentions fullscreen to read zero instead of 1, so it would be: bFullScreen=0 (And save, of course.)

It's not the best solution in the world, it puts the game in a window, a decent sized window but off to the left of center on my wide-screen monitor. I may end up skipping the cut scenes to play it in full screen mode (changing that line back), but I didn't notice this under the Windows 7 and Games thread so I thought you might like to know, Draclvr.

Gil.
_________________________
"Best not to think about it. I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought."

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#881230 - 04/15/13 11:14 PM Re: Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon on Windows 7 [Re: traveler]
Draclvr Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 9710
Loc: In Missouri near St. Louis
I'm so excited to find this out, Gil! This is a similar fix that we had to use to play Scratches. For some odd reason, it isn't necessary for Scratches in Windows 8.

I have to agree that Dracula 3 is the worst depiction of Dracula EVER!
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Gardening is better than therapy. Plus you get tomatoes.

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#881235 - 04/16/13 12:03 AM Re: Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon on Windows 7 [Re: Draclvr]
traveler Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 3209
Loc: Rivellon
Talk to me! This Dracula in 3 looks as if Elliot Ness should be after him. He's a lowlife thug, not Evil Incarnate. Resurrection and Sanctuary's Dracula was a really good one. (Aside from the plastic hair. grin) But when his face filled the screen, you knew you were up against a monster.

Brrrr!

Gil.
_________________________
"Best not to think about it. I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought."

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#881286 - 04/16/13 09:05 AM Re: Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon on Windows 7 [Re: traveler]
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35227
Loc: southeast USA
I've updated the Windows 7 and Games thread.
See if you want any alterations to it.

Originally Posted By: Draclvr
I have to agree that Dracula 3 is the worst depiction of Dracula EVER!

And it made no sense. If he was able to
Click to reveal..
fix the face of that woman so she was beautiful again, you'd think he could do something about his own face.

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#881381 - 04/16/13 02:42 PM Re: Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon on Windows 7 [Re: traveler]
Uncle Reg Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 371
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA
This is not a Windows 7 problem. This same problem has existed for years. It is a conflict with a lot of Kheops games and newer Nvidia drivers.

Some of the games plagued with this problem in addition to Dracula 3 include:

Nostradamus
Secrets of Da Vinci
Cleopatra A Queens Destiny
Destination Treasure Island
Return To Mysterious Island 2: Mina's Fate
Safecracker (the newer 2006 version)

and I'm probably forgetting some others.

In the above games, this problem affected the entire game, not just cut scenes.



Edited by Uncle Reg (04/16/13 02:58 PM)

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#881405 - 04/16/13 04:20 PM Re: Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon on Windows 7 [Re: traveler]
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35227
Loc: southeast USA
Originally Posted By: Uncle Reg
This is not a Windows 7 problem. This same problem has existed for years. It is a conflict with a lot of Kheops games and newer Nvidia drivers.

It's still a problem that people are apt to run into with a new Windows 7 computer, Uncle Reg. So it's useful to include in the thread. The only question is whether we should include the same recommendation for all those other Kheops games as well. I think we should test them first.

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#881438 - 04/16/13 05:27 PM Re: Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon on Windows 7 [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 3209
Loc: Rivellon
If I hadn't gotten so mad at Nostradamus that I sailed it out the window after many frustrating attempts to fix it, I'd try this solution on it, Uncle Reg. That entire game was a mess of flickering.

When I played Path of the Dragon on XP, I did not have a problem with flicker. The game played flawlessly. The problem only showed up when I wanted to play in Win 7 and it only showed up in cut scenes.

Gil.
_________________________
"Best not to think about it. I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought."

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#881449 - 04/16/13 06:05 PM Re: Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon on Windows 7 [Re: traveler]
Draclvr Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 9710
Loc: In Missouri near St. Louis
Same here, but I was also playing on an old Nvidia video card on XP and when I tried to play on Windows 7, it was a much higher powered video card.
_________________________
Gardening is better than therapy. Plus you get tomatoes.

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#881484 - 04/16/13 10:42 PM Re: Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon on Windows 7 [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 3209
Loc: Rivellon
True about the better video card. My XP was an HP and it's probably a wonder it handled games at all.
_________________________
"Best not to think about it. I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought."

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#881492 - 04/16/13 11:57 PM Re: Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon on Windows 7 [Re: traveler]
Draclvr Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 9710
Loc: In Missouri near St. Louis
My old XP was also an HP and the best thing that ever happened was the on-board video chip croaked! I put in an Nvidia GTX 7600 and was able to play all kinds of great games! That original hard drive is still chugging away in a low-end computer I built to house it.
_________________________
Gardening is better than therapy. Plus you get tomatoes.

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#881499 - 04/17/13 01:20 AM Re: Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon on Windows 7 [Re: Jenny100]
Uncle Reg Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 371
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA
Originally Posted By: Jenny100
It's still a problem that people are apt to run into with a new Windows 7 computer, Uncle Reg. So it's useful to include in the thread. The only question is whether we should include the same recommendation for all those other Kheops games as well. I think we should test them first.

I have tested all of those games that I listed and that "bFullScreen=0" workaround works for all of them, but it's not very enjoyable to play them like that.

This is a fairly well documented problem. Here's a link to an old thread: Return to Mysterious Island 2: graphics flickering all over the place
In that thread, you will find links to several other earlier GameBoomer threads on the subject. If you Google kheops nvidia , you will get hits to threads on the Nvidia forums, Big Fish forums and Just Adventure forum.

Originally Posted By: traveler
If I hadn't gotten so mad at Nostradamus that I sailed it out the window after many frustrating attempts to fix it, I'd try this solution on it, Uncle Reg. That entire game was a mess of flickering.

When I played Path of the Dragon on XP, I did not have a problem with flicker. The game played flawlessly. The problem only showed up when I wanted to play in Win 7 and it only showed up in cut scenes.

I re-installed Dracula 3 just to see, and the flickering is there all of the time, not just in the cut scenes. It's not the same constant flickering that you see in that opening cut scene, it only shows up when you're panning with the mouse, causing flickering distortions and double images. As soon as you stop the mouse, it quits and the screen looks normal. Go back to full screen mode and start a new game. When the cut scene ends, center your wiew on the train car, and pan your mouse back and forth from left to right repeatedly over the middle third of the screen, and you should see it. It might not be as pronounced as some of the other games, but it's still there. The speed and distance of the panning movement affects the degree of flickering.

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#881500 - 04/17/13 01:21 AM Re: Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon on Windows 7 [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 3209
Loc: Rivellon
Who needs ecollege? Next time, I'll get a Draclvr computer. grin

Gil.
_________________________
"Best not to think about it. I don't want to fall to bits 'cos of excess existential thought."

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#881556 - 04/17/13 08:38 AM Re: Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon on Windows 7 [Re: Uncle Reg]
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35227
Loc: southeast USA
Originally Posted By: Uncle Reg
I have tested all of those games that I listed and that "bFullScreen=0" workaround works for all of them, but it's not very enjoyable to play them like that.

This is a fairly well documented problem. Here's a link to an old thread: Return to Mysterious Island 2: graphics flickering all over the place
In that thread, you will find links to several other earlier GameBoomer threads on the subject. If you Google kheops nvidia , you will get hits to threads on the Nvidia forums, Big Fish forums and Just Adventure forum.

Thanks, Uncle Reg. I just don't remember this, maybe because my XP computer has an ATI card and I didn't encounter the problem.

Originally Posted By: Uncle Reg

I re-installed Dracula 3 just to see, and the flickering is there all of the time, not just in the cut scenes. It's not the same constant flickering that you see in that opening cut scene, it only shows up when you're panning with the mouse, causing flickering distortions and double images. As soon as you stop the mouse, it quits and the screen looks normal. Go back to full screen mode and start a new game. When the cut scene ends, center your wiew on the train car, and pan your mouse back and forth from left to right repeatedly over the middle third of the screen, and you should see it. It might not be as pronounced as some of the other games, but it's still there. The speed and distance of the panning movement affects the degree of flickering.

What's interesting is that I'm seeing the same thing on the GOG version of 7th Guest on a fairly new Win7 computer with an Nvidia card. When I click and the screen pans, I can see the screen flicker or redraw between the start and stop points of the pan. Now this could just be something to do with whatever GOG is using for an emulator, but I wonder if it could be a general problem with other games that use a panning 2D interface as opposed to 3D (and not just Kheops). Have you seen the same thing in games like Scratches or Baron Wittard that use a panning 2D interface?

Also, do you see any difference playing on a widescreen monitor as opposed to a full screen monitor? If the games were originally 4:3 aspect ratio, maybe putting them in a widescreen aspect ratio puts extra work on the video card and slows down redrawing of the screen. Did you have a full screen monitor back when you first noticed the problem?

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#881660 - 04/17/13 05:55 PM Re: Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon on Windows 7 [Re: Jenny100]
Uncle Reg Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 371
Loc: Virginia Beach, VA
Originally Posted By: Jenny100

What's interesting is that I'm seeing the same thing on the GOG version of 7th Guest on a fairly new Win7 computer with an Nvidia card. When I click and the screen pans, I can see the screen flicker or redraw between the start and stop points of the pan. Now this could just be something to do with whatever GOG is using for an emulator, but I wonder if it could be a general problem with other games that use a panning 2D interface as opposed to 3D (and not just Kheops). Have you seen the same thing in games like Scratches or Baron Wittard that use a panning 2D interface?

I went through my installed games, and I have a ton of panning games in addition to the aforementioned Scratches (I have the Director's Cut) and Baron Wittard:

Three Frogwares Sherlock games, Mystery of The Mummy, SH vs Arsene Lupin, and Testament of SH.

Four Myst games, Exile, Revelation, Complete Uru Chronicles, and GOG's RealMyst.

Microids Amerzone and Post Mortem.

From various other developers, Secrets Of Atlantis, Darkness Within, Outcry and The Omega Stone.

I also recently played GOG's Journeyman Project 3, although I no longer have it installed.

All of these games work with no problems.

In addition, I also have four other Kheops games that do work OK, Egyptian Prophecy, Crystal Key 2, Echo and the first Return to Mysterious Island, although Egyptian Prophecy and Crystal Key 2 both have patches that specifically address problems with Nvidia cards.

Originally Posted By: Jenny100
Also, do you see any difference playing on a widescreen monitor as opposed to a full screen monitor? If the games were originally 4:3 aspect ratio, maybe putting them in a widescreen aspect ratio puts extra work on the video card and slows down redrawing of the screen. Did you have a full screen monitor back when you first noticed the problem?

I did not notice this problem until I got my new ecollegepc computer 2 years ago last March. It has a wide screen monitor and a GTS 450 Nvidia card. My old XP computer had a 4:3 monitor, but it also had an old 6200 Nvidia card that ran perfectly on old drivers that predated this problem. As far as putting extra work on the video card, that seems extremely far-fetched. This GTS 450 has 1G of memory. That old 6200 only had 256M, and it played all 6 of those Kheops games that I mentioned in my first post perfectly. A few months back that old HP XP computer finally died after over 10 years, and I bought an old refurbished Dell XP for $100. It has an ATI card with only 128M and it also plays all of those Kheops games perfectly, so it's really hard to believe that this GTS 450 is being overworked in any way by these old games, especially when it plays all other games, even the latest ones, without even the slightest hiccup. Also, a lot of those older games from other developers that I listed above were originally 4:3, and none of them have any problems.

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#881691 - 04/17/13 08:32 PM Re: Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon on Windows 7 [Re: Uncle Reg]
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35227
Loc: southeast USA
Originally Posted By: Uncle Reg
I did not notice this problem until I got my new ecollegepc computer 2 years ago last March. It has a wide screen monitor and a GTS 450 Nvidia card. My old XP computer had a 4:3 monitor, but it also had an old 6200 Nvidia card that ran perfectly on old drivers that predated this problem.

Did you try running the game on the new computer using the old monitor? or on the old computer with the new monitor? That would tell you if there was a problem with converting the games to widescreen and higher resolutions. Otherwise comparing the performance of an old card on a low resolution monitor with the performance of a new card on a high resolution monitor while also requiring a change in aspect ratio isn't an equal comparison. But I wouldn't be too surprised if the old card still performed better on the new monitor, given the reputation of the newer Nvidia drivers.

Quote:
As far as putting extra work on the video card, that seems extremely far-fetched. This GTS 450 has 1G of memory. That old 6200 only had 256M, and it played all 6 of those Kheops games that I mentioned in my first post perfectly.

The memory is not the issue. Nor is the greater processing power of the new card, which is at least as important as the memory. Neither one can make up for drivers that are poorly optimized for a certain game engine. Displaying a 3D game in a higher resolution or different aspect ratio is relatively simple for a powerful card. But recalculating the entire screen for a 2D game in a different aspect ratio can be more difficult unless the drivers are written to cope with that sort of thing efficiently. There is most likely a problem with the Nvidia drivers because the supposedly equivalent ATI cards apparently do not have the problem.

Quote:
A few months back that old HP XP computer finally died after over 10 years, and I bought an old refurbished Dell XP for $100. It has an ATI card with only 128M and it also plays all of those Kheops games perfectly, so it's really hard to believe that this GTS 450 is being overworked in any way by these old games, especially when it plays all other games, even the latest ones, without even the slightest hiccup.

If the drivers are inefficient, the card can easily be "overworked." It has nothing to do with the specs of the card. An $800 card with specs through the roof will perform poorly if the drivers have poor compatibility. If the "solution" to the jerky or flickering graphics is to play in a window, then the video card isn't able to keep up with displaying the game smoothly in full screen.

Quote:
Also, a lot of those older games from other developers that I listed above were originally 4:3, and none of them have any problems.

...and doubtlessly used lower resolutions and often different game engines. Kheops no doubt used higher resolutions in their later games and may have tweaked their game engine too, adding visual effects and animations. Calculating how to display a 640x480 or 800x600 resolution game with few or no animations across a widescreen monitor is not going to use as much video processing power as calculating how to display a higher resolution across the same monitor. The difference may be the reason it's the newer games that show the flickering problem.

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